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ISLAMABAD: Electoral body, Friday, extended the date for local government elections in 101 union councils (UCs) of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) from the coming Dec 24 to Dec 31 but kept the rest of the elections schedule unchanged.

The LG polls’ date has been revised on account of engagements of some senior ECP officials on December 24, it is learnt.

The local bodies in ICT completed their five-year term in February last year. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced LG elections on July 31 this year but the federal government sought a delay in LG polls on the pretext that it increased the number of UCs in ICT from 50 to 101.

The related case remained pending in Islamabad High Court (IHC).

On October 20, the ECP finally issued the schedule for LG polls in ICT. According to this schedule, public notice inviting nominations for LG polls was issued on November 1, dates for filing of nomination papers: November 7-11, publication of names of the nominated candidates: November 14, scrutiny of nomination papers: November 15-18, filing of appeals against acceptance/rejection of nomination papers: November 21-23, deciding of appeals by the appellate authority: November 28, revised list of contesting candidates: November 29, withdrawal of candidate: November 30, allotment of electoral symbols to contesting candidates: December 1 and revised polling date: December 31.

According to the code of conduct for the LG polls issued by ECP, all executive authorities in the federation shall neither announce any development project nor use state resources in LG polls “calculated to influence the elections in favour of a particular candidate.”

It says, if any person in government service misuses their official position in any manner in order to influence results of the elections, they shall be liable to be proceeded against under the law.

After issuance of the election schedule of local government, no transfers/postings of the government officers and officials including autonomous bodies/authorities shall be made in Islamabad without prior approval of the commission till the publication of election results, the code of conduct says.

No leave of the government officers and officials including autonomous bodies/ authorities will be granted in Islamabad after the issuance of election schedule of the LG elections without prior approval of the commission till the publication of election results, it adds.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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